Early evening on the day before we left Seaward I got my telephoto lens out and took a photo of Little Ross Island and its lighthouse.
Heavy rain woke us during the night but there was a lull to allow us to pack up and leave. Our first stop was Kirkcudbright which we had last visited in 2017. Apparently in 1931 Dorothy L Sayers referred to it in her book Three Red Herrings as ‘Colourful heritage, cobbled streets and eighteenth century boulevards make the artists town on the banks of the River Dee a great weekend break’. We parked near St Cuthbert’s Church which was built in 1838.
A much earlier church said to have been established in the 7th century was situated to the east of the town and other buildings used until the population grew and St Cuthbert’s was built. I had a wander down to the harbour on the banks of the River Dee
and then we found a coffee before visiting the Galleries in the old town hall. The exhibition I particularly wanted to see was Eardley Explored: the Art of Joan Eardley with photography by Audrey Walker. Audrey Walker was a friend of Joan Eardley. The ground floor contains works by artists who worked in and around Kirkcudbright including John Faed, EA Hornel, Jessie M King, Charles Oppenheimer, Robert Sivell and Phyllis Bone. The collection included paintings, drawings, illustrations, book covers and ceramics. Here are a few of the paintings.
MacLellan’s Castle also sits in the town and was built in the late 16th century.
Greyfriars Episcopal Church featured in the 1973 horror movie The Wicker Man. Leaving Kirkcudbright on the A711, we passed through Mutehill and then passed a large MOD range. The next stop was Dundrennan Abbey which is under the care of Historic Scotland but like many of their buildings is not completely accessible inside due to delays in assessing and dealing with problems during the pandemic.
Continuing we passed through Auchencairn and Polnackie before crossing a bridge to Dalbeattie. It has a large modern ‘learning campus’ which contains a nursery, primary and secondary schools. The Solway Coastal route passed through Barnbarroh, Colvend, Sandyhills, Mersehead Sands and Kirkbean. We stopped for lunch at a viewpoint near Drumburn but there was not much of a view.
Torrential rain began again and was forecast to continue for the next 48 hours. There was already a lot of water on the roads and flooding was obviously a risk. We had planned to continue our journey round the Solway coast but decided to return home a little early.